I woke up in a tree. I yawned and stretched, clawing into the tree bark. This was my favorite tree to spend the night in, and you could tell by the deep grooves worn into it. I looked down at the ground and, sure enough, there he was. John Logan, curled up next to the trunk. It had been months since he found out I was a cat shifter, and he still followed me whenever I got the urge to spend the night as a lion. During the winter, he'd borrowed a tent from Garrett, and stolen blankets from Hannah. Now it was April and he slept with only a thin blanket for covering.
I jumped down and nudged his shoulder. When he didn't stir, I licked his face.
"Mmm," he said, covering his eyes. "You wake up too early when you're a cat."
I tugged the blanket with my teeth, but he grabbed it and pulled it back on top of him.
"Oh no you don't!" he said.
I harrumphed and curled up next to him.
When I woke up for good, Grace was stretched out next to me. As a lion, she was about the same size as me. And gorgeous. I stroked a hand down her side, and she rolled on her belly. I continued to pet her. She opened her eyes and blinked slowly at me. I'd asked her once why she never purred for me, and she babbled on about how big cats can't purr. And then somehow ended up talking about Ted Bundy again.
After a few minutes, Grace got up, and stretched. She stepped over me, leaned down and nuzzled my forehead.
"Good morning," I said.
A blink, and she was human.
"Good morning," she said, and kissed me.
Grace told me I didn't have to spend the night outdoors, but how could I miss mornings like these? I pulled her down on top of me.
"One of these days, I'm going to convince you to shift naked," I said.
It was really, really unfair that my cat shapeshifter girlfriend could keep her clothes when she shifted. At least she'd taken to wearing my jersey--and only my jersey.
"We're too exposed here," Grace said. "It's only a ten minute walk back to your car. And I'm not the only shifter who uses these woods."
"Mmm," I said, and kissed her. She ran her hands down my bare chest (she hadn't managed to stop me from sleeping naked once the weather warmed up), and snuggled closer to me.
When I started inching the jersey up, she sighed and pulled away.
"Sorry," she said.
"Hey," I said. "You have nothing to be sorry for."
She made a face. "But I'm denying you hot outdoors sex."
I laughed and sat up, shifting her to my lap. "How about hot dorm room sex instead?"
She leapt up. "Okay!"
And we were off.